CJDaily's Blog

March 15, 2010

Giving new meaning to the term “bail-out.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 10:53 pm

Picture this: an old stone farmhouse sits in a sodden field, surrounded by mud-puddles, and deluged by rain.  The basement storm doors are open, and up the crumbling old steps comes a young woman, her face half obscured by her hat, her eyes half-shut in the rain.  She is carrying a heavy pail of water in one hand, obviously straining against its weight.  Reaching the top of the steps, she moves out into the yard, heaving the water away from the house with all her might.  With a look of grim determination, she starts back to the house, moving down the steps to scoop up another bucketful of water and repeats the process.  Like, 200 times.

A scene from the 1800’s?  How I wish.  That mournful scene aptly depicts my Sunday afternoon.  I should have mentioned the strapping young man helping the young woman with the bailing process, but I was having a mini pity-party, and you all were just invited.  Jesse, to be fair, had a much larger bucket than I.  It wasn’t even, by rights, a true bucket, as it was actually a laundry basket.  We should really buy another bucket.

It all started Saturday night.  Jesse went down to the basement to get a beer and came back upstairs with one wet foot and a long string of profanities.  What with the 4 feet of snow recently melted, and an added 3 days of rain, the yard was so saturated that water was literally pouring in through the old stone foundation.  I followed his “You will not effing believe this” down to the steps to gaze in wonder at the lake in the basement.  It wasn’t just puddles, mind you.  It was 5 full inches of water, and things were floating away.  Since the basement is where Jesse keeps his admirable stash of booze, it was reminiscent of a smuggler’s cave, complete with empty Patron bottles drifting by. 

We moved all the boxes out of the water and up onto a little platform in the corner and by we, I mean Jesse slogged into that freezing water while I clutched a stray bottle of wine I could reach from the stairs.  The sump pump was sitting quietly in the corner, not doing a damn thing until Jesse went over and harassed it.  Then it kicked on without so much as an apology, and started chugging water out.  We sighed in relief that at least it wasn’t broken, it just hadn’t turned on for some reason.  Going back upstairs, we congratulated ourselves on modern technology, and opened a lovely bottle of wine while the storm raged on.

Cut to the next morning.  While laying in bed pretending to sleep at 9:30 am, I heard a funny noise.  The sudden noise of SILENCE.  I raised up warily on one arm and looked around but all seemed normal.  I got up to make a cup of coffee and flicked the light-switch on my way past it.  Only it didn’t turn on.  And my first very dimwitted thought was, “Gee, the light’s broken.”  Only it took me a few minutes to realise that the ominous sound of silence and the light not turning on was the total absence of POWER in the house.  And I turned and called to Jesse, “Um, we have no electricity,” and was bewildered by his sudden dash towards the basement.  Hearing the faint splash and high-pitched scream from the depths of the house clued me in, however, to the disaster that awaited us. 

The lack of electricity also meant a lack of sump pump. 

Hence the early morning bucket brigade.  I bundled Belle up and let her watch outside as we hauled gallons, nay, OCEANS of water up from the basement.  There was somehow even more water than there was the night before.  And as my aching arms and petrified shoulders can attest to this evening, it required a butt-load of bailing. 

Descend steps.  Scoop up water.  Turn without spilling it all over myself.  Climb back up (very old, very slippery) steps.  Walk to edge of yard.  Pitch water down little hill into street.  Repeat. 

Despite the freezing cold day, I was sweating like I’d just run a marathon, and though I started with more layers, wound up in just my rolled-up jeans and Jesse’s old farm show t-shirt, a look which he declared to be utterly irresistible.  But honestly, I’ve had worse Sundays.  Belle had a ball jumping in puddles, and begging to be allowed to help dump the buckets.  Jesse and I both got a workout, and the primitive satisfaction of seeing the water slowly (excruciatingly slowly) go down inch by inch.  Our biggest concern was to get the water down enough that it couldn’t ruin the boiler, and once he declared our efforts a success, I felt euphoric.  Of course, I also felt sweaty and grimy and in dire need of a hot shower and a two-hour massage, but since the power was still out, a shower was not to be had, and a massage was a little unfair to ask for, considering my laundry-basket hauling hero. 

But the whole episode taught me that 1. We are SO getting a battery back-up for the sump pump, and 2. Jesse thinks I look hot in a t-shirt advertising local cattle.  Is it true love?

You bet.



  1. Love it!

    Comment by Erin — March 16, 2010 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  2. Love it!!

    Comment by Erin — March 16, 2010 @ 11:23 am | Reply

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